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3D-QSAR assisted identification of FABP4 inhibitors: An effective scaffold hopping analysis/QSAR evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Giuseppe Floresta, Agostino Cilibrizzi, Vincenzo Abbate, Ambra Spampinato, Chiara Zagni, Antonio Rescifina

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
Early online date29 Nov 2018
Accepted/In press24 Nov 2018
E-pub ahead of print29 Nov 2018
Published1 Mar 2019


King's Authors


Following on the recent publication of pharmacologically relevant effects, small molecule inhibitors of adipocyte fatty-acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) have attracted high interest. FABP4 is mainly expressed in macrophages and adipose tissue, where it regulates fatty acid storage and lipolysis, being also an important mediator of inflammation. In this regard, FABP4 recently demonstrated an interesting molecular target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, other metabolic diseases and some type of cancers. In the past years, hundreds of effective FABP4 inhibitors have been synthesized. In this paper, a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model has been produced, in order to predict the bioactivity of FABP4 inhibitors. The methodology has been combined with a scaffold-hopping approach, allowing to identify three new molecules that act as effective inhibitors of this protein. These molecules, synthesized and tested for their FABP4 inhibitor activity, showed IC50 values between 3.70 and 5.59 μM, with a high level of agreement with the predicted values.

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